Croft: It's great to be back

Leicester flanker knows Irish will be out to spoil England's party

Last Updated: 13/03/11 11:13pm

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Croft: back with a bang

Croft: back with a bang

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Tom Croft was delighted to make a try-scoring return to the England team after a "very frustrating" spell watching on from the sidelines.

"The Irish will be very dangerous with that Triple Crown gone. They will want to spoil our party"
Tom Croft Quotes of the week

The Leicester flanker came off the bench to score England's only try in a hard-fought 22-16 victory over Scotland at Twickenham on Sunday.

Up until then Croft had not featured in this year's RBS Six Nations, a fractured shoulder keeping him out of the victories over Wales, Italy and France.

The Calcutta Cup win keeps Martin Johnson's side on course for a Grand Slam, with just Ireland - who they face in Dublin next weekend - now left standing in their way of a first clean sweep since 2003.

"It was very frustrating, particularly watching the Italian game which was a try-fest. When you see the back row playing well you wonder where you fit back in the mix," Croft said.

"It was great to be back involved with a squad that is going well and hopefully we can finish the job off now."

Battle

Croft's finish in the left corner looked set to give England a comfortable victory but a late try from Scotland's Max Evans set up a tense finish.

"We knew it would be a battle and we had to wear them down for the full 80 minutes," Croft said. "I think we know it wasn't the performance we had been hoping for.

"We made quite a few mistakes and there are areas we can improve in the week going into Ireland, but we take the win."

With England's points difference in such good shape, they seem certain to be crowned Six Nations champions even if they lose in Dublin.

Ireland themselves are out of the race after they were beaten on Saturday by Wales, who are mathematically the only team who can deny Johnson's troops.

"The Irish will be very dangerous with that Triple Crown gone," Croft added.

"They will want to spoil our party. We are in a good place, four from four and a chance of a Grand Slam. We need to be focused and not let the whole event get on top of us."

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